Animals & Cancer
Animals can be so amazing! I’ve had dogs and cats my whole life. In fact, I've had many other animals, too. They’ve all been fun and were part of our family, but until my daughter Crystal was diagnosed with a blood cancer, I really never thought about how protective and loving they can be. When Chloe came to NY with Crystal, I quickly found out. This is the story of Chloe.
Introducing Chloe: A four-legged hero
I have to talk about my daughter’s dog, Chloe. Chloe is a female chihuahua mix and she is my daughter Crystal’s baby. I like dogs, but since my children are all out on their own, I no longer have any animals. I have to say how impressed I was with Chloe and her reaction to Crystal while she was sick and going through chemotherapy. That little puppy showed just how much a pet can love a person. Chloe has become my four-legged hero!
Chloe and Chemo
Each week, when Crystal got treatment, she was out of commission for at least 3 days. On the 4th and 5th day, she would slowly start to bounce back, but it always took her at least 5 days to be able to feel well enough to do anything that involved leaving the house. Chloe knew when Crystal was sick and, for the whole week, she wouldn’t leave her side except to eat or go to the bathroom. She laid right next to her, in the dark bedroom for days at a time. I know dogs are supposed to be 'man’s (or, in this case, woman’s) best friend’, but I never knew the extent of their loyalty and how much they would do for us. Chloe showed me. The love and companionship she gave Crystal really warmed my heart and she will always be very special to me.
Life after treatment
Crystal is now cancer-free and Chloe still lives with Crystal. Crystal works long hours some days and felt Chloe could use a friend. She got a kitten to keep Chloe company. The kitten is named Cassie and is now bigger than Chloe, but they do keep each other company. For now, Crystal, Chloe, and Cassie are living happy and free from cancer. They are all happy.
Considering getting a pet
If you or someone in your family is going through cancer or some other disease, consider getting a dog or spending time with an animal. Chloe provided so much comfort for Crystal and was there for her on the days I couldn’t be. Since then, I have seriously considered getting a dog myself. I think it would be comforting to have a pet that would be as loyal as Chloe was. My husband doesn’t want to have a pet right now because we aren’t around enough to give it what it needs, but it is definitely a consideration for the future.
Have you met another blood cancer patient?